JK Tyre turns out to be Gava Logistics’ partner in progress
Close on the heels of visiting a marquee fleet operator supported by JK Tyre in Kolkata, we visited another leading East Indian transporter, Gava Logistics Pvt. Ltd., which runs a fleet of 100+ tippers (both 6-wheelers and 10-wheelers). Located at Kharagpur, an important industrial city located in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal, the company has now become famous for transporting raw material to cement, power and steel industries in that State. Planning to expand its operations countrywide, its vehicles are already travelling to prominent locations such as the Haldia dock complex, Khidirpur port, Kharagpur, Asansol, Jhargaon, Rajarhat, etc.
To have a broader overview of its business, we met Mr. Vivek Kumar, MD-cum-Logistics Head of Gava Logistics at its corporate office at Kalaikundi, close to the IAF airbase. Talking to MOTORINDIA exclusively, he revealed: “The business was started by my grandfather Mr. G.B. Yadav, who hails from Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, he was into trading of foodgrains and floated GB Yadav and Company Pvt. Ltd. in 1984. Later on, he started the business of handling of loose material and eventually got into warehousing. He then founded Gava Logistics in 2003 to support the factories out here (in Kharagpur). We initially started moving bulk raw material such as iron ore fines and pellets, coal, cement, gypsums, slugs and clinkers, and now we also transport finished products of cement companies like ACC, Ambuja and Lafarge. Additionally, we do raker loading for the Indian Railways.”
We also visited Gava Logistics’ in-house 17-acre operational centre where more than 1,000 vehicles can be parked. Strategically located at the highway, it can be used by other operators also. Apart from the MRO operations, other core activities like in-house fabrication, engine repairing, vehicle washing, puncture mending is also carried out at the centre. Apart from that, over 150 drivers who are on its rolls have their own rooms within the premises.
During the interaction, the young and dynamic third generation entrepreneur was quite effusive about the kind of products, solutions and other support that JK Tyre has proactively provided them. Joining the company in 2008, he brought in some modern business practices at Gava Logistics, which included having a long-term association with Tata Motors for sourcing its vehicles and allying with JK Tyre for its products in 2013. The latter turned out to be the turning point for the fleet operator as this move played an instrumental role in streamlining its operations.
Shedding some further light on its association with JK, Mr. Kumar stated: “We were rapidly developing our business by buying vehicles in bulk and were looking for a genuine tyre partner. Initially no one (tyre company) cared about providing products and solutions. At that time, the major cost component for us was diesel and tyre, and we were looking for a partner who could not only provide us better products but also proper aftersales services. Fortunately, we became JK Tyre’s partner in progress in March 2013, and since then there has been no looking back. If you consider other players, this is the best experience we had with any tyre company. This is not only because it has an excellent product line, but also because it has an efficient aftersales support team. After establishing the Truck Wheels concept, they handheld us constantly. Within a span of three years, we have become an extended family of JK. Through them, we get to connect with other leading fleet operators in the country where there is a bright exchange of ideas. They also have driver training programmes which further streamlined our business.”
Starting with two vehicles 13 years back, Gava Logistics currently has a fleet of 106 vehicles with the majority of them being 10-wheeler tippers and the remaining 6-wheeler tippers. Plans are now afoot to ramp up the total count further to 150 by next financial year. All the tyres in its existing fleet and upcoming vehicles will be fitted with JK’s all-purpose tyres. “Currently JDE (Rear) and JUH5 (Front) radials are giving us good results. Earlier we were using JUC3.” It is to be mentioned that the average distance of its fleet is 250 km per vehicle and is mainly confined to West Bengal.
Asked about the advantages of using JK radials, Mr. Kumar maintained: “We are getting numerous benefits in terms of cost per km, fuel efficiency and robustness. The average lifespan of our nylon tyres has almost tripled and we are looking forward to do retreading with JK in the long term.”
Currently, tyre as a component accounts for 25-30 per cent of the overall costs and is expected to come down drastically with JK products and solutions.
When asked to shed some light on the wheel alignment centre established by JK Tyre, Mr. Kumar affirmed: “It has benefited us a lot in terms of reduction in operational costs. My average tyre consumption has reduced by half every month. More than that, it has helped me in fulfilling all my commitment to my clients. With wheel alignment, the vehicles need not be halted to check tyre pressure, etc. As the vehicle is in a proper shape, the breakdown aspects have come down. The driver can go on a longer haul without stopping. If the entire vehicle is in order, there are lesser chances of a breakdown. By nitrogen inflator too, there are lesser incidences of puncture too. The vehicles can run on a longer haul. Moreover, automated tyre fitter and tyre remover reduces the workload of our drivers.”
It is to be mentioned here that Gava Logistics, the flagship entity of GB Yadav and Company Pvt. Ltd., has earned Rs. 285 crores last financial year and is expecting to clock Rs. 300 crores this fiscal. With the industrial activity reviving, it is confident of registering a 15-20% CAGR in the next four to five years.
Spelling out the vision for the company, Mr. Kumar concluded saying: “We intend to expand into new territories and go pan-India in the next 5-10 years.”